Despite being freed from his administrative detention by order of an Israeli court, Palestinian Arab journalist Mohammed al-Qiq will keep up his 10-week hunger strike, his lawyer said on Friday.
The 33-year-old television reporter, who still cannot leave hospital without permission as per the court’s ruling, is "determined to continue his fast until he is freed", the lawyer, Jawad Boulos told AFP.
On Thursday, Israel's Supreme Court lifted the order to hold Qiq under the controversial administrative detention law, but ruled that he would need permission to leave the hospital where he is handcuffed to his bed.
His relatives can now visit him, but his wife Fayha Shalach told a press conference late Thursday she would not do so until he was fully free.
"Security forces have simply shifted the responsibility for the fate of my husband on to the hospital administration," she said, according to AFP.
Qiq was arrested on November 21, 2015 in Ramallah due to suspicions of involvement with Hamas. Qiq denies that he is involved in activity for Hamas, although he has previously been arrested for Hamas activity. He has been refusing food since November 25 in protest of what he claims are the "torture and ill-treatment that he was subjected to during interrogation".
The United Nations on Friday said that it was "extremely concerned" over Qiq's condition and called on Israel to end the practice of administrative detention.
"We reiterate our concerns at the situation of Palestinian administrative detainees who are held without charge or trial by the Israeli authorities, often on the basis of secret evidence," the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement.
"We call, once again, upon the Israeli authorities to end their practice of administrative detention and to either release immediately or promptly charge and prosecute all administrative detainees," it added.
It should be noted that jailed terrorists have often used hunger strikes as a pressure tactic aimed at forcing Israel to release them out of fear for their lives. Israel has several times in the past caved to the pressure and released some hunger strikers.
Some 1,550 Palestinian Arabs imprisoned in Israel ended a hunger strike in May 2012, in exchange for a package of measures which would allow visits from relatives in Gaza and the transfer of detainees out of solitary confinement.
Prior to Qiq, the most recent famous case of a terrorist who went on a hunger strike and was ultimately freed was that of Mohammed Allan, who was freed by Israel at the beginning of November.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)